The Element of Surprise in Middle-School Football

No, this trick won’t work in the NFL, but Driscoll Middle School in Corpus Christi, Tex., pulled it off brilliantly. During a recent game, the “middle school quarterback is handed the ball at the snap in such a manner that his opponents believe the play has not begun. And the teenage player then brazenly strolls through the opposing ranks without a finger laid on him before realizing his ploy has come good.” The quarterback then takes off running all the way to the end zone.

It will probably be some time before Driscoll is able to pull off this play again. But it sure would be fun to see them try …

(HT: Christian Zeller)

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  1. Ben Sauer says:

    If they try again, they most certainly will get the penalty they should have got for attempting this. Rumor has it that the local officials association had a long talk with the officials from this game to make sure they knew never to make this mistake again.

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  2. Tim Vaughan says:

    Ben Sauer,

    Can you please enlighten us non-experts on middle-school football rules? What should the penalty have been?

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  3. Erin says:

    I also felt uncomfortable when I read about the play. It would be one thing if the students came up with the play themselves, ran it by their coach, and then used it on their opponents. But that’s not what happened here – a grown-up came up with that play and coached his kids to execute it. I really don’t see why this coach is having accolades heaped onto him because he managed to outsmart a bunch of middle-school kids.

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  4. buck says:

    um, JR school students learned a valauble lesson in Piaget’s Constructivism.

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  5. Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team says:

    I want to call the play: ‘Strolling Down the Boulevard.’

    Second Down: have a Telegram Delivery complete with Bellhop uniform. Hop on a Fedex Truck and ‘Arrive’ at the Endzone.

    Third Down: Disguise the Ball as a Baby, put in a stroller and roll downfield for a touchdown.

    Forth Down: Send a giant Cannon Ball Bomb with a lit fuse to the opposing team huddle. Then Cover your Ears!

    I wonder what The Gipper would think about my playbook? Winning isn’t everything…It’s the ONLY THING.

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  6. Jonathan Leard says:

    There are a few videos of similar plays around the internet right now, though a more popular variation involves walking to the sideline to switch balls (though up the gut is certainly more brazen).

    The best video is the one where a kid on defense doesn’t buy the ruse and flies off the line as soon as the ball is hiked, completely levelling the quarterback.

    If you’re goig to try a trick play, do yourself a favor and have your o-line ready for someone to be half as smart as you think you are.

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  7. Joe says:

    Yes, it got them a touchdown, but it wasn’t really the middle school players tricking each other. The coach played an integral role, not only teaching them the play, but complaining about a fake penalty. I don’t think we should be impressed by his ability to trick a group of 13 year old boys. Furthermore, at this level, the focus should be at least as much on learning the game as on winning. This was certainly a failure in that department as well.

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  8. Gordon says:

    I’m not aware of the specific technical rules regarding a play like this, but I do have to question the ethics of the coach who organized the play. In my opinion, trick plays that go beyond simple, in-play deception (Statue of Liberty, etc.) are counter to the spirit of the game, especially when it’s at such a junior level. This is unsportsmanlike-plain and simple-and to teach children that this is how the game of football is played calls the coach’s character into question.

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